Why are we as women continuously finding ourselves settling for things that we know is beneath us? I find myself having many conversations with my sister friends about our own experiences and the ones of those around us and the general theme is the same.
Personally I have been someone who has been guilty of settling, guilty of lowering my own standards to appease another or make others feel comfortable. A great example is my sham of a marriage!
Meeting my ex husband and seeing from early on that he was not the right type of man for me, I should have jumped ship! Trouble was I had developed feelings and was pregnant with our child. So as many of us women do we put those cute little blinkers on and 'keep it moving'. We pretend that the red flags and warning signs are not there. We create reasons and excuses for poor behaviour, lack of respect, lack of ambition, lack of support, cheating, lying etc. Imagine we actually sit and lie to ourselves to cover up another persons shortcomings.
Since I have been spending the last year and a half alone and having a lot of time to think and connect where things went wrong for me, I am able to recognise my reasons for accepting such low behaviour. It stems back to childhood, but more recent, it has a lot to do with my relationship prior to that with my husband. It was a very abusive relationship that left me with zero self esteem and no confidence. I did not know who I was, I was a broken and vulnerable young woman who just wanted to be loved. And then along comes this guy, giving you the attention you desire and crave, he says the right things and before you know it your unhealthyly attached to him. I should have never been in a relationship during that period of my life, I needed to be alone.
So here I am in this joke of a relationship, with a man that thinks it's acceptable to cheat and lie despite me being pregnant with his child. I'm upset, I'm hurt and to put it bluntly, pissed off at myself for allowing myself to even be in this position, it's easy to walk away alone but the dynamics change when your pregnant. I ended up going through my pregnancy alone and reconciled with this man when our son turned one. Despite the minimal support this man had provided me, I had a desperate desire for that two parent family. Again stemming from childhood. I had hopes that he had come to his senses while being away from us and was going to do the right thing. I had visions of this man proving all my friends and family wrong. It never happened.
What I was doing and would continue to do for the next 6 years is to forget all about my standards and the height of my bar, and instead allow another person to walk all over me. Don't get me wrong everyone is responsible for their own actions in life but if I had maintained that level and set my bar high and KEPT it there I would have avoided many pitfalls.
Being away from that situation and being able to evaluate myself as a person, has meant that I am aware of where my bar needs to be and I am able to ensure that it remains there. Set your standards high and stick to what you will and will not accept. Look at it like this, only YOU can set the bar for you and if you allow someone to come into your life without reaching or exceeding that bar then your literally setting yourself up to fail. We all make bad choices, but once you know better you do better.
Allow that love you have for yourself to act as a benchmark. If you would not treat yourself wrongly why would you allow anyone else to?